ROME - Some 6,500 migrants were saved off the Libyan coast in 40 separate rescue missions on Monday, the Italian coast guard said on Twitter, in one of the largest influxes of refugees in a single day so far this year.
The migrants were packed on board scores of boats, many of them flimsy rubber dinghies that become dangerously unstable in high seas. Most were believed to be Africans.
Data from the International Organization for Migration released on Friday said around 105,000 migrants had reached Italy by boat so far in 2016, many of them setting sail from Libya. An estimated 2,726 men, women and children have died over the same period trying to make the journey.